Larne ‘lights it up blue’ to celebrate World Autism Day

Larne Mayor and Mayoress Bobby and Betty McKee with members of Kaleidoscope Autism Awareness Club at Smiley Buildings for Larne Borough Council Lights it up Blue for Autism Awareness Day. INLT 14-380-PR
Larne Mayor and Mayoress Bobby and Betty McKee with members of Kaleidoscope Autism Awareness Club at Smiley Buildings for Larne Borough Council Lights it up Blue for Autism Awareness Day. INLT 14-380-PR
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Larne Borough Council celebrated World Autism Awareness Day by participating in Autism NI’s ‘Light It Up Blue’ campaign to raise awareness for Autism in Northern Ireland.

Many iconic landmarks throughout the UK and the rest of the world were lit up in blue today to raise awareness for this social and communication disability. These include The Rockefeller Center in New York, the Tokyo Tower in Japan, Canada’s CN Tower, the Sydney Opera House in Australia and Michigan’s Mackinac Bridge.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. It is a spectrum condition, which means that while all people with Autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. There are currently over 20,000 people diagnosed with Autism within Northern Ireland, which outstrips the total number of those affected by Down’s Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease.

World Autism Awareness Day therefore shines a bright light on Autism as a growing global health concern. It also celebrates the unique talents and skills of people with Autism and features community events around the world where individuals with Autism and their families are warmly welcomed and embraced. Each year Autism NI raises awareness for the disability through a coordinated Awareness campaign during the month of April.

Within Northern Ireland numerous primary and secondary schools took part in a non uniform day to mark the occasion and Autism NI also organised a Stormont 5K Walk at Parliament Buildings in celebration of the day.

Autism NI’s Chief Executive, Arlene Cassidy said: “We are very grateful that Larne Borough Council has chosen to support World Autism Awareness Day. It is vital that awareness is raised throughout Northern Ireland in relation to Autism, especially within the local community as there is still a lot of misunderstanding and ignorance in relation to Autism Spectrum Disorder. By holding an event such as this,

“Larne Borough Council has helped to highlight this ‘hidden disability’ and give those affected the recognition they deserve.”

For more information on the ‘Light It Up Blue’ campaign or Autism NI’s services please contact Shirley Hall at Autism NI on 028 90490 1729 or email shirley@autismni.org